Cookies regulations on websites and online advertising

One technique that advertising is done is through cookies. These are computer files that can be downloaded to users’ computers through the websites you visit and allow a website to store and retrieve information about browsing habits of a user or of its equipment in order to recognize the user and improve the service offered.


They were designed with a primary mission in electronic commerce: managing the shopping cart. A virtual shopping trolley works as a virtual device that the user is adding the products you want to buy, so that users can browse the store where the items for sale are displayed and add or remove them from the basket cart at any time by using cookies.


Given this scenario, and at the request of various associations of consumers and users, should ensure the privacy rights of users. In this sense, the Law of Services of the Information Society (LSSI) regulates aspects in this area and affects the websites of enterprises, electronic commerce and Internet advertising, among other services.


This regulation refers to the cookies in the corresponding article 22 of the LSSI, once amended by Royal Decree-Law 13/2012 European directives attending text:


  1. Service providers can use storage devices and data recovery target terminal equipment, provided that they have given their consent after they have provided them with clear and comprehensive information on their use, in particular on purposes of the processing of data in accordance with the provisions of Law 15/1999, of December 13, Protection of Personal Data with.


The legislation requires allow users to know, clearly, if you browse a page that installs cookies and, if so, to know what is installed and by whom. Dedicating news programs explaining what is a cookie, providing a list of the types of cookies you install the website and indicate their function but add instructions to reject or delete these cookies can identify companies that use them.


In this way the user can decide to accept or reject cookies from a website.


In order to store cookies on the computer of a user you are required to obtain your consent , except only two exceptions: “technical cookies” and “strictly necessary” to provide a service explicitly requested by the user.


Cookies not affected with rules are which, for example:

  • customize the user interface: font size, language…
  • are installed by exclusive security reasons.
  • help maintain the user’s session open while browsing the web.


On the other hand, cookies affected by rules are which, eg.:

  • the statistical information they obtain navigation (web analytics), as its own which are installed if a site uses Google Analytics.
  • the follow-up to launch advertising based on behavior (behavioral marketing).
  • performing the monitoring of activity on social networks users.


Cookies can be propias from a web, that is, when from the web server itself cookies are installed, or de terceros, when they come from other servers and ad networks, statistical analysis companies, among others. The latter are housed in a separate domain to the site the user visits.


Display browsers allow cookies to be used on each website, offering the option to remove them. Eg.: Google uses several cookies to store information about the searches you perform user and store your preferences on the language or the number of search results to display.


In the following screenshot we can see what the cookies used IdeaRed from the Google Chrome browser are going to Option menu > More tools > Developer tools. Once inside, we click Resources in the main menu and paragraph Cookies list of cookies that are downloaded them to the user to navigate the website will appear. We’ll see mainly of which are housed own cookies from the web server to serve web configuration and user look which is a social plugin that provides the ability to share content on social networks users and do a statistical analysis of these actions.


Each browser provides the ability to delete browsing history as well as the option of removing cookies, which is recommended to use especially if you surf from a public computer.

This time we talked about cookies, their types and legislation affecting use. We are preparing a new entry on the use of cookies relating to advertising where we see behavioral concepts such as marketing or remarketing of Google Adwords.


Carles Sanabre



Neil Espejo

Junior Strategic Planner

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